Loop Energy collaborates with CRRC to develop fuel cell electric drive systems for heavy-duty trucks
Canada-based Loop Energy (earlier post) has entered a collaboration agreement with Hunan CRRC Times Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (a subsidiary of CRRC Corporation Ltd.) to develop zero-emission power systems for heavy-duty transportation applications.
The power system to be developed for the initial project will combine Loop’s fuel cell technologies with CRRC’s leading electric drive train system to provide a better performing solution for heavy-duty trucks in comparison to traditional diesel engines.
CRRC Corporation Ltd., with annual revenue of over $40 billion, is the largest supplier of rail transit equipment in the world and has 46 wholly- owned and majority-owned subsidiaries. Its subsidiary, Hunan CRRC Times Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. is a world leader in developing and building electric vehicles and drivetrains for a variety of vehicle classes and applications, having produced more than 20,000 units of powertrains and more than 10,000 units of electric vehicles.
In March, Loop Energy—formerly known as PowerDisc Development—was awarded a $7.5-million grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to accelerate deployment of the company’s new zero-emission powertrain for heavy-duty trucks.
This agreement with Hunan CRRC Times Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. is a key step on our commercialization path. CRRC’s deep experience with electric drivetrains and components, combined with their ability to rapidly scale production, align perfectly with our deployment plans. End customers will benefit from this collaboration as we lead the path to a variety of economical, zero-emission vehicle solutions.—Ben Nyland, President of Loop Energy
We believe fuel cell electric drive systems are the ultimate solution for new energy vehicles,. We chose to partner with Loop Energy because their approach provides a clear path to driving down the cost of zero-emission transportation and to making zero-emission transportation commercially viable.—Guo Wei, Vice General Manager of Hunan CRRC Times Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd.
Loop’s heavyduty power unit combines an electric battery with a hydrogen fuel cell designed around its patented eFlow technology. eFlow addresses unequal current distribution in the fuel cell by improving the flow of oxygen, fuel and water within a fuel cell and avoiding degradation of the fuel cell membrane and stack materials.
The net result is that eFlow increases overall fuel cell durability, enables higher peak power, and significantly reduces cost due to greater membrane resiliency, the elimination of costly system components, and improved lifetime, the company says.
Loop’s chairman is Dr. Andreas Truckenbrodt, who as CEO/CTO of Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (Daimler/Ford/Nissan), was responsible for driving fuel cell commercialization. He also led the Hybrid Development Center for DaimlerChrysler.
Sean M. MacKinnon and Robert A. Wingrove (2014) “PowerDisc’s eFlow reduces fuel cell commercialisation cost” Fuel Cells Bulletin doi: 10.1016/S1464-2859(14)70089-6